Poll: 52 Percent of Young Americans Think Democracy Is ‘In Trouble’

Poll: 52 Percent of Young Americans Think Democracy Is 'In Trouble' american flag flies in front of capitol (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

By Solange Reyner | Thursday, 02 December 2021 01:23 PM

Fifty-two percent of young Americans think democracy is "in trouble," according to a poll of 18- to 29-year-olds by the Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School.

Additionally, just 46% approve of the job President Joe Biden is doing, a 13 point drop since the IOP’s Spring 2021 poll. The rating also includes a 10-point drop among young Democrats and a 14-point drop among Independents.

"In the 2020 election, young Americans proved with their record-shattering turnout that they are a formidable voting bloc and eager to make their voices heard," said IOP Director Mark Gearan "Our political leaders on both sides of the aisle would benefit tremendously from listening to the concerns that our students and young voters have raised about the challenges facing our democracy and their genuine desire for our parties to find common ground on solutions."

The poll also found:

  • Just 7% of young Americans view the U.S. as a "healthy democracy" while 27% describe the nation as a "somewhat functioning democracy." Thirty-nine percent say America is a "democracy in trouble" and 13% described the nation as a "failed democracy."
  • 51% say COVID-19 has had a negative impact on their lives.
  • Biden’s job approval stands at 75% among young Democrats and 39% among independents.
  • 33% say the Biden administration is on its way to a successful presidency compared with 38% who say it’s on the wrong track.

The poll, conducted between Oct. 26 and Nov. 8, has a margin of error of +/-3.08 percentage points.